Qld massage therapist fights rape charges
A Queensland man stands accused of abusing his position as a massage therapist to assault 15 women and a 15-year-old girl over more than a decade.
Charles William Davidson is on trial in the Brisbane District Court after he pleaded not guilty to seven counts of rape, 34 counts of sexual assault and three counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16.
In her opening statement on Monday, crown prosecutor Judy Geary told the jury Davidson touched the alleged victims sexually during the course of what was supposed to be a legitimate massage.
The alleged behaviour included inappropriate touching and rubbing of breast and groin areas, as well as digital penetration.
"These all occurred under the guise that he was performing a legitimate massage upon them," Ms Geary said.
The court was told Davidson would often steer conversation toward sexual subjects, including telling a client his favourite style of massage was "erotic" or talking about their breasts.
He gave one client his personal phone number "in case she wanted to hook up again" and discussed erotic massages at his house with another, Ms Geary said.
Davidson began massaging clients informally at his house before establishing a home massage business and eventually working in a number of clinics around Brisbane, the jury was told.
The trial is expected to take at least a week given the large number of alleged victims, and the prosecution will call a witness to give evidence about the regulations governing touching certain parts of the body during therapy.
The case before Judge Julie Dick continues.
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